- Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 03:44
- Written by MARC NKWAME in Arusha
- Hits: 1339
CLASHES over traditional initiation rites which involve male circumcision among the Maasai tribe have left one dead and five others seriously injured in Arumeru district, Arusha region.
The clashes erupted on Sunday when a group of irate Maasai youths (Morani) conducted a door-to-door search for males who have become of age but are yet to be circumcised. Tribal initiation among the Maasai is normally regarded as a stage where a boy is to be taught manhood and it is considered necessary for the individual to be viewed as a full member of the tribe.
Arusha Regional Police Commander, Mr Thobias Andengenye, confirmed that there have been serious violence over initiation rites that led to the death of Mr George Sengeu (25) and five others have been seriously injured. The RPC said the Maasai youths’ intention was to make sure that all boys who have come of age are not only circumcised but undergo the excruciatingly painful rituals of traditional initiation ceremonies.
“What we have come to learn is that these Morani are accusing others of angering their ‘gods’ by ignoring traditions and sending males to be circumcised in hospitals which is less painful, thus, regarded as less manly,” police have said. Some of those injured have been identified as Mr Saiboko Melau, Alphas Samwel and Geoffrey Said, the latter being a student of Enyoita Secondary School.
Other injured persons’ identities are yet to be established as investigations are ongoing. Police have arrested six suspects in connection with the riots. Meanwhile, a woman identified as Ms Christina Mponzi (35) was found dead after being strangled by unknown people in Arusha municipality over the weekend.
Before her death and until last weekend, the deceased was employed as a bar attendant at Cocktail Pub which is located at Mianzini at Kaloleni Ward, in the municipality. According to the police, the deceased’s neck was broken when her body was discovered naked in a pile of garbage at a dump site in Kaloleni area.
“Her neck was broken, body was bruised and there was clotted blood from her nose. We believe she was attacked and killed on Saturday but the body was found on Sunday,” RPC Andengenye said. The late Ms Mponzi had reported for work on the day of her death and left for home later that evening. Police are investigating the matter.